Five Reasons to Walk the Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago (Way of St James) is a network of walking routes which dates back to the 9th century, when pilgrims would make their way to the shrine of James the apostle in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.

One of the oldest pilgrimage routes in Europe, today it’s also popular with hikers, cyclists and tour groups who trace the route through Spain, France and Portugal on a journey that is bursting with culture, history, beautiful countryside and fabulous cuisine.

With so much to experience and a mix of landscapes to discover, here are five reasons to pack your hiking boots and walking poles to join Just You on this renowned walking route which will cover off the Spanish section, from Puenta La Reina to Santiago de Compostela.

 

1. It’s the perfect place for a solo adventure

The nature of hiking through countryside, towns and villages alongside other travelers who are all there with the same intention and goal in mind, makes it the ideal experience for a solo break – especially if you’re dipping your toes into the world of solo travel.

What’s more this tour offers the best of both worlds, so while you are able to enjoy some of the traditional aspects of hiking along the route and admiring the incredible scenery laid out before you, we also have some sightseeing opportunities mixed into the itinerary too, including a guided tour of the old town and cathedral in Léon, or you can even enjoy an optional guided tour in Burgos.

Plus you have the comfort of three and four-star hotels to retreat to at the end of the day for a well-earned rest!

2. The timing is right…

With over 30 kilometres of trails to explore, you really want to stand the best chances when it comes to the weather.

On our tours from April to June you are less likely to experience downpours during the day, so drier weather is most certainly welcomed, and you’ll be able to avoid the scorching temperatures often seen in July and August!

This time of year is also great for admiring the wildflowers in bloom, and keep your eyes peeled for migratory birds flying overhead.

For our September and October departures, it’s not as hot and not as crowded which should tick all the boxes. It’s also at the peak of the grape harvest season so your stop at the wine fountain of the Irache Monastery and the La Rioja wine region should feel all the more fruitful!

That said, with nature, anything is possible, and if we could guarantee the weather we would! So while we can’t promise no rain, we’ve done our best to earmark the best times of year to set out on your hike.

3. It's ideal for your wellbeing

While historically this journey has been considered very spiritual and religious, today many people travel this route to find deeper meaning or simply connect with nature.

Nonetheless it’s great for your health and wellbeing, and even getting ready to take on this challenge means you’ll become part of a community of like-minded travelers.

What’s more, this is the perfect tour to disconnect from the every day and truly get away from it all to find better balance and clarity if you’ve been feeling overwhelmingly busy of late. It’s as much a journey for the mind as it is for the body!

4. You can unlock your sense of adventure

An adventurous spirit defines the sense of this tour and it’s certainly not your average vacation. The Camino speaks to days gone by, a time when we weren’t completely glued to our phones and a journey relied on using physical maps and signposts rather than GPS.

People often remark on how old and authentic the towns and villages are along the way, unsurprising given that the ‘Way’ hasn’t changed in 1200 years. So make the most of soaking up each and every moment, and leave that cell phone safely stored in your bag – save for capturing any photos of course!

5. It’s a symbolic tour

The scallop shell has long been a symbol of this route, in fact many pilgrims would collect a shell from the beach as a souvenir from their travels. Milestone markers along the route also feature the symbol of the shell – so when you’ve seen them once, you’ll see them everywhere!

So embedded is this symbol that a lot of myths surround the origins of the shell, one of which is that pilgrims would use seashells to drink water from the springs as they walked, and members of the clergy would reward them with a shell on arrival at the cathedral in Galicia.

Whether it’s myth or legend, keep your eyes peeled for these symbols along the way.

Whether you’re traveling for mental or physical wellness, spiritual or other reasons, Walking the Camino de Santiago is your very own ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ encounter to find whatever it is you’re searching for in your next solo adventure.

 

DON'T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT...

Fantastic levels of care and attention to detail on the tour by experienced Holiday Directors, who prioritised our enjoyment and needs throughout the tour. The itinerary was designed to achieve the most enjoyment and interest, and benefitted from the experience and knowledge of the Holiday Directors who were able to add so much information, recommendations and insight. A wonderful experience.

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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - ALL THE ESSENTIALS

Whether it’s your first or twenty-first walking trip, here are some tips for this tour:

  • Comfortable, sturdy walking footwear is essential so be sure to give any new shoes a good road test before you pack them! Shoes or boots with a Gore-Tex layer ensures added comfort due to its waterproof and breathable membrane.
  • Take a lightweight backpack with you, and one with external pockets for storing that all-important water bottle to keep yourself hydrated along the way.
  • A waterproof and breathable rain jacket is also recommended for any unexpected downpours. Think ‘layers’ with your packing so that you’re able to better prepare for all scenarios – and with visits to religious sites included in this itinerary, a  large scarf and lightweight trousers are advisable to cover up.
  • Weather from April to May ranges on average, from lows of 5°C to highs of 18°C, meanwhile September to October the average temperatures are between 8°C and 24°C. Rainfall is usually considerably lower in the shoulder seasons.

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